The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Magnus Larsson‘s Thesis project at the Architectural Association is not so new anymore and probably many of you have seen it a while ago on BLDG BLOG or on Wired. However I don’t remember having seen the TED video on any of those sites and I therefore wanted to publish it here. With this project, Magnus Larsson attempts to respond to the issue of desertification of Africa and the extension of the… Read More

For its thirtieth birthday, the Princeton Architectural Press is re-editing some of its past book including the beautiful OneFiveFour by Lebbeus Woods which was first published in 1989. This book is actually a collection of eleven projects drawn by L.Woods from 1984 to 1989. However, I feel that it is more interesting to consider the ensemble of drawings and models as one single project which constitutes his vision of a city somehow… Read More

I just took advantage of a short trip to Boston to accomplish an architectural pilgrimage that led me to visit the Government Service Center, built in 1971 according to a design by the great Paul Rudolph. This building’s concrete brutalism made it elected “ugliest Boston’s building” which won’t disappoint anybody as architects seem to be always more interested in beautiful ugliness than in ugly beauty. The Government Service Center is a piece… Read More

Michael Vlasopoulos, Greek Architect at Harvard recently published on Abitare a very interesting (sci)-fictitious Manifesto for Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by Kisho Kurokawa and built in 1972. His narrator speaks at the first person and develops an ambiguous praise of his life conditions since he moved in one of the tower’s capsule. I copy the text here, but it could be read directly on Abitare associated with beautiful decontextualized photos of… Read More

Five years after the beginning of the construction, the new beautiful public space in Seville, Metropol Parasol designed by Jurgen Mayer is almost finished and will be celebrated this Sunday. It’s interesting to observe that, although this rib-design is now seen everywhere from students projects to competitions via industrial design, this building is, as far as I know, the first one to reach this scale with this technique that consists in simulating… Read More

Francois Roche was recently invited to give an exhibition and a lecture at Sci-Arc about R&Sie(n)‘s work, starting on April 6th. However he just canceled both of them and made public the reasons in an open letter which text is the following: Dear I have no other way than to cancel the Sci-Arc exhibition in the Gallery (scheduled in May 25) and the lecture (scheduled the April 6-2011) The gap of point… Read More

Every (rare) times I am in front of one of Hieronymus Bosch‘s paintings (in Belgium, at the New York MET or at the Barnes’ Foundation in Philadelphia), I can spend an hour trying to discern the multitude of details that compose his fantastic narratives. In this spirit, I would like to propose here a non exhaustive series of details extracted from Bosch’s two most famous tryptichs: The Temptation of Saint Anthony and… Read More

picture: Four Birds Mixed media on paper (Catheryn Austen) The following essay comes from the website Fractal Ontology created by Joseph Weissman and Taylor Adkins which attempt to develop a multi-disciplinary discourse based on philosophy, psychoanalysis and science. This text, Warning, Hive Meltdown Imminent compares the work of Michel Serres, Gilles Deleuze and Reza Negarestani (even before Cyclonopedia was published)around the notions of Noise, Pestilence and Darkness: Openness only comes in the… Read More

I invite every French speaker to listen to the recent interview of French architect Patrick Bouchain by Philippe Simay on Metropolitiques. Bouchain is not so internationally famous but he is one of the most interesting architect I know. He worked for two decades in the shadow of other artists such as Daniel Buren, Claes Oldenburg or Bartabas (a famous horse trainer in France),  worked with film directors and even the Minister of… Read More

For those of you who would like to help the Japanese evacuees from the disaster they just experienced and who would like to donate for a project more specific than the Red Cross or the Unicef, you can visit Shigeru Ban‘s office’s website who organizes partitions kits to set up in the big gyms and other rooms where hundreds of people have to share a shelter after they loose their homes. Here… Read More

I recently published the post-professional thesis project of my good friend Martin Byrne, Feral Garage. This beautiful Ballardian architectural project is actually associated with a short story written by Martin as a parallel medium to describe the narrative of a building which, by a dysfunction of its technological system develops a feral condition that the narrator of this story experiences. As I wrote in this previous post, the project that applies the… Read More

I have always been annoyed by Tadao Ando‘s self seriousness which always pushes him to develop only an architecture of solemnity, reserved to the gods rather than the humans. HOWEVER, I just discovered (it was about time probably !) the library he designed for the Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum in Osaka (2001) and I was very much seduced by it, so much that it made me forget any kind of grief I… Read More

This very short TED lecture (TED’s format is only 20 min) allows the musician David Byrne to establish a filiation between music and architecture. In an assumed provocative way, he claims that architecture creates music and not the other way around: As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he… Read More

Two very interesting symposiums are coming up respectively at Columbia University and Yale School of Architecture. Registrations are open for the very expected Permanent Change Symposium about Plastics in Architecture and Engineering at Columbia. Guest speakers include Francois Roche, Greg Lynn, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Mark Goulthorpe, Beatriz Colomina, Mark Wigley etc. Those very interesting lectures will occur between March 30th and April 1st. A week earlier, Yale is organizing a symposium entitled… Read More

Never Let Me Go is a 2010 film directed by Mark Romanek and adapted from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. It appears to me that there are two types of good science fiction movies. Those which visually invents a world either speculative or metaphorical which strike us for its inventivity; and the others that do not allow any kind of special effects, and introduce a plot within our world which thus moves… Read More

Back to the classics, the Living Pod is an inventive project by David Greene in 1966 for Archigram. This nomadic dwelling has the characteristics of being represented by a lot of amazing documents produced by Greene in the 60’s. One has to reconsidered that in the context of a very strongly framed Academic milieu (Architecture was still taught in the Beaux Arts in France for example), Archigram’s work was perceived as truly… Read More

The Urban Borders Competition I was evoking in my last post, is indeed one of the rare competitions that rewards the most interesting projects. Here is the second prize, Bauci Outlet Mall City designed by Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi and that stands almost more in its very evocative text than its small amount of pictorial documents. This Italian architect proposes in fact a narrative in which Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis’ Exodus has… Read More

Demotown is the winner project of the Urban Borders competition by Think Space (Zagreb Society of Architects)(check out also my friends Kyriakos Kyriakou and Sofia Krimizi’s project that reached the third place) . This very beautiful vision of a feral Detroit that recalls another friend’s project by Martin Byrne, has been created by Jesse Honsa & Gregory Mahoney. Demotown introduces an hybridization of the city of Detroit by nature and human occupation… Read More

Good news for the non New Yorkers or people could not be at Parsons this Friday for the first Cyclonopedia Symposium, Leper Creativity (see the previous article I write about it with the links about Cyclonopedia on the Funambulist) organized by Ed Keller with Nicola Masciandaro and  Eugene Thacker around the amazing book by Iranian Philosopher Reza Negarestani, there will be an online streaming live and (probably archived) on the following link.

Evolo just released the winners of the 2011 Competition and as often the interesting projects are more to be searched in the Honorable Mentions (and I know some more that did not even made to this step and that’s a shame) as I would like to illustrate here. I also would like to add that making people pay 65$ to participate in a digital competition is simply outrageous and should really be… Read More